5 players the Panthers missed most at the Saints in Week 7

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Rasul Douglas
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87. 27. 15. Final. 24

Which players did the Carolina Panthers miss most during their narrow 27-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome?

The Carolina Panthers now find themselves with a 3-4 record following their hard-fought loss at the New Orleans Saints. Losing two straight after a three-game winning run does appear to be something of a gut-check from the outside looking in. But few would deny that the organization has made great strides from their opening contest.

This is something the Carolina Panthers have to build on as the campaign progresses, which might be difficult when one considers the strength of teams they will be coming up against leading into their Week 13 bye. Matt Rhule’s men take on the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before their well-deserved rest, who all harbor realistic ambitions of hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy this season.

Things were never going to be easy after such wholesale changes during the offseason. The Panthers deserve a significant amount of credit for coming together quickly amid so much disruption and although they came out on the losing end in New Orleans, it could become a valuable learning curve for players and coaching staff alike.

Not being at full-strength definitely hurt Carolina. Every team is going through injury problems at this stage of the season and if the Panthers want to become a prominent postseason contender, then improving depth needs to be a top priority during a critical period of recruitment next spring.

Here are five Panthers players that the team missed the most during their Week 7 reverse at the Saints.